So I have secured a project worth 6 figures for an employee management system that will manage his employees for 4 of his companies. This employee management system will integrate a biometric hardware solution on computer stations that communicate with iPads (for the managers/receptionist of each company) all connected to a cloud based server. The project will last around 3 months, and the customer is entitled to as many small intricate software changes as they like in the first year after which the service costs £8,000 a year to maintain the solution I'm about to implement.
Problem: Thats all great, but I'm having a hard time trying to explain I will be charging them 8k a year to keep things running after the first free year.
Here are my reasons for charging that:
Main two reasons
- I Blaaaady worked so hard in that first free year implementing all the feature changes that they suddenly realise they require new quick to implement, small feature upgrades sometimes big in the current software implementation that I feel I need to make my money back on the second and third year because of the extra hours put in after project completion.
- Apple no matter what will have Yearly iOS operating system upgrades for all devices, and so will the MAC OS X. So these applications will have to be updated regardless yearly anyway.
- Back ups of the server, and databases. <- this sounds really silly when I tell the client this.
Small extra reasons but that don't necessarily weigh significantly on the SLA cost
- I provide the client direct access to me, 24/7 telephone service as opposed to emails or any other communication method or having to go through my receptionist, I save that for the smaller projects. My client loves this and sure does use it whenever possible by dropping me many texts whenever a new feature is required, or when he needs something to change in the back end.
- Server costs, this is such a nominal amount that I could just pay this out of my own pocket since it only costs about £40 a month, not that I would take up the cost ;)
- Flexibility - we provide a no problem service attitude.
Everything is run on my side, if I wanted to, I just have to redirect the server elsewhere and all applications will cease to exist for the other projects I've worked on with this client.
But as far this goes, that's it. My client is asking me what will happen after the first free year if no updates are required in the second year, will he still need t pay the 8k? It's a good question, but that's not the point, I've told him these are the running costs for managing the service that I am providing.
Could someone please help me on outlining other important things that I am possibly missing from this SLA agreement that could help justify the cost? I find the app development aspect of it is more than enough to justify that cost, since some companies charge £25-30k in upgrades and app revisions where as he is able to come to me at any time of the year and send me a new list of features required with no hassle.